Drunk drove 105mph in police chase with pregnant girlfriend in the car

The M1 motorway. (D531B333)
The M1 motorway. (D531B333)

A drunk driver reached speeds of 105mph while being chased by police with his heavily pregnant girlfriend in the car, a court heard.

Leigh Edwards was two and a half times over the limit when he set off from his home in Cooperative Street, Mirfield, at 11.30pm on July 6.

His partner tried and failed to stop him from leaving, so went with him, and called police from the car, Leeds Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecuting, Carmel Pearson said Edwards drove at 60mph in 30mph zones and drove at 80mph along a double carriageway heading towards Wakefield.

The 27-year-old then accelerated to 105mph on the M1 between junction 41 and 42, heading towards the M62, with police in pursuit.

As he approached the M62 Edwards turned off his headlights and moved across several lanes, climbing to 105mph while travelling around a bend.

Miss Pearson said: “When he did eventually stop it was because he was forced to by three pursuing police cars.”

She said Edwards had been at a wedding on the day of the chase and had issues with his family.

“He had had too much to drink and wanted to sort it out,” she said.

Edwards pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, using a vehicle without a licence or insurance, failing to stop when directed by a PC and driving while over the prescribed limit at Kirklees Magistrates Court on September 13.

Mitigating, Ian Cook said Edwards admitted to police that his driving was terrible and acknowledged that he had put everyone at risk.

Edwards’ partner had given birth to a baby boy on Saturday and the 27-year-old now wanted to concentrate on his family, he said.

“The baby may just be the making of him,” he added.

Judge Christopher Batty said he had no sympathy for Edwards but was worried about the affect sending him to prison would have on his partner and their new baby.

He said: “What troubles me about it is that the one person who suffers is the person who did her level best to stop it.”

Edwards was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months, an activity requirement, 80 hours unpaid work and a two-year driving ban.

He will have to pass an extended retest before he can drive again and was ordered to pay £420 costs.